NEW LONDON — Facing a 3rd-and-10 with 70 yards to go and just 40 seconds left in the game, North Stanly was running out of time in Friday night’s home matchup with West Stanly.
The Colts had just taken the air out of R.N. Jeffery Stadium when running back Sawyer Gibbs put his team ahead by four points with 1:02 on the clock thanks to a 20-yard touchdown run.
It turns out that the Comets had a late-game response of their own.
Cameron Smith caught a pass from quarterback Chance Blake, evaded multiple Colts and scored. West Stanly’s last-ditch effort came up short, giving North Stanly (2-2) a 24-21 Stanly Cup victory.
“Ever since 2019, we’ve had this game scheduled and circled. Tonight, my team proved it — they came to play,” North coach Scott Crisco said, referencing his team’s 42-0 loss to West three years ago. “In the past, we’ve dropped our heads. Tonight, I told my guys to be a man and take it to them.”
Crisco said the win was just what his team needed after a 1-2 start to the season, heralding the effort of Smith — who finished with two touchdowns — and his ability to fire up the whole offensive unit.
North entered the game on the heels of a 49-0 road loss to North Rowan.
“Our offense has struggled the first three games, but they came into their own tonight,” Crisco said. “The line did a great job blocking and Cam is an exceptional runner. He saw the holes and he has the mentality that he’s not going down with the first tackle. … This win jump-started our season. Now, we’re ahead of where we were last year.”
While the Comets ultimately came out on top, it was the Colts (3-1) who controlled the contest early on. West put the first points of the night on the board at the 7:37 mark of the first quarter when running back Matthew Parker had a 12-yard touchdown run.
The teams engaged punts, penalties and misfires until Comets wideout Junior Hill reeled in a 48-yard pass from Blake as the first quarter expired. Smith then scored on an eight-yard run on the following play to make it a 7-7 game.
West’s special teams proved to be a factor midway through the second quarter when it returned a blocked punt for a go-ahead score. North got three points back with 1:59 left in the half when kicker Kaden Young made a 35-yard field goal kick.
The Comets struck first in the second half when wide receiver B.A. Harris hauled in a 28-yard touchdown reception on North’s first drive of the third quarter. North held onto a 17-14 lead until the Colts scored the go-ahead touchdown with a minute to go, but the Comets had other plans.
North hits the road this week to face Randleman (3-1), its final nonconference opponent, on Friday. West will look to bounce back to the win column as it travels to Oak Grove (4-0) that same night.
South Davidson 40, South Stanly 10
For the fourth consecutive week, South Stanly (0-4) lost by at least 30 points as South Davidson (3-1) ran away to a 40-10 victory in Norwood on Friday.
Wildcats senior Jakyri Hixson scored two of his three rushing scores early in the game, but South Stanly trailed just 20-10 at halftime after scoring late in the second quarter. But South Davidson scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to pull away.
Dating back to last season, South has lost 12 of its last 14 games and will play its last nonconference opponent of this season in Central Davidson (4-0) this week. The undefeated Spartans — coming off a 42-0 shutout over West Wilkes — will host the winless Bulls on Friday.
The Bulls have been outscored by a margin of 181-23 in their four games this season.
Anson 21, Albemarle 14
Coming off a 45-point victory over Owen on Sept. 2, Albemarle tried to make it two wins in a row when it traveled to Anson. But it was the Bearcats (3-1) who came away with a 21-14 win with a late score.
The Bulldogs (1-2) were clinging to a 14-13 lead after quarterback Dre Davis connected with wide receiver Zyion Geiger for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 5:25 left to play. But Anson rallied with a touchdown to earn the win. Albemarle’s other touchdown was a 3-yard run by Jaylen Pinckney midway through the second quarter.
The Bulldogs return home to face Southwest Randolph (2-1), who most recently lost a 10-0 defensive battle to West Davidson. The Cougars have outscored their opponents by a combined 111-29 this season.